Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are criminal offenses that have garnered increasing and widespread attention in recent years. As part of the national crackdown on those who drive impaired, Missouri now enforces harsh and unforgiving DWI laws.
While these allegations are among the more prevalent criminal offenses, as they affect people from all walks of life, no one facing these charges should ever let themselves believe that a DWI is inconsequential, not important enough to warrant the help of an attorney, or anything other than a serious crime.
Protecting Your Rights, Freedom & Future After a DUI Charged
If you or your loved one is facing legal recourse for a DWI or DUI charge, then trust in our firm’s St. Louis DWI lawyers to provide you with the unrelenting representation you need to protect your future. Although you may feel as though there is little you can do, our firm’s experience has allowed us to accumulate a number of defense options that we can apply to your specific situation.
Regardless of the facts involved, we always:
- Meticulously investigate each case
- Discuss all available options with prospective client
- Commit our full efforts & resources to help you avoid potentially crippling consequences
Missouri DWI & DUI Penalties
Just as with most states throughout the country, defendants confronted with any type of DWI or DUI allegation face serious criminal penalties. Regardless of how you felt about your impairment at the time of your arrest, the laws are rigid, and anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.08% (0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers and 0.02% for underage drivers) will be subjected to life-changing repercussions.
Our firm has amassed extensive hands-on experience representing clients facing a variety of DWI allegations, including any of the following:
- Underage DUI
- Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
- First-time and multiple offense DWI
- Felony DWI
- DWI accidents
- DWI with child endangerment
- DWI resulting in injury or death
- Boating while intoxicated (BWI or BUI)
Although penalties will vary depending on the facts surrounding your case, your specific charge, and additional factors, such as your prior criminal record, the repercussions you face can have a substantial and long-term impact on your life. Generally, Missouri enforces the following DWI penalties:
In Missouri, a first DWI offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor, although charges may be elevated should certain aggravating circumstance be involved. Typically, a first offense is punishable by license suspensions, points on your driving record, fines, possible jail sentences, and other consequences.
A second DWI conviction will subject you to a Class A misdemeanor and elevated criminal consequences. Penalties include lengthy license suspensions or revocations, fines, additional points added to your driving record, anywhere from two days to one year in jail.
A third DWI conviction is considered a felony offense. As such, criminal penalties are severe and can include up to 5 years in prison and a 10-year license revocation, with the opportunity to apply for a hardship license after 3 years. Each subsequent DWI conviction after the third offense will also be a felony that poses heightened penalties and increased terms of imprisonment.
Other DWI Allegations
There are a variety of circumstances that can elevate the penalties you face. DWIs in which a child is present or in which an accident is involved can pose heightened penalties. If a DWI or DUI results in the injury or death of another, life-altering penalties should make working with proven representation your first priority.
The state of Missouri has established some of the most severe DWI license repercussions in the nation. All matters relating to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license are handled during an administration process that is separate from your criminal case. Additionally, you must request an administrative hearing with the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) within 15 days of your arrest in order to have the opportunity to preserve your driving privileges.
Short-Term & Long-Term Consequences
DWI allegations of any type also pose a number of collateral repercussions. Aside from criminal penalties handed down by the court, a DWI on your criminal record can warrant unfavorable setbacks and judgment. It may place people at risk for losing their jobs, their ability to find transportation to school or work, and can be seen by those who conduct background checks, including prospective employers, landlords, and / or colleges. Higher auto insurance payments and ignition interlock devices (IIDs) also pose ongoing costs to convicted offenders and can severely threaten one’s financial future. Although penalties do vary, they certainly have the potential to impact your personal well-being and future in profound ways.
How The Law Firm of Lorri Kline Can Help
Regardless of the DWI or DUI allegation you face, you need to be certain that the attorneys you select have the skills, experience, and determination to successfully resolve your case. At The Law Firm of Lorri Kline we know that clients demand personalized representation and skilled handling of all matters related to their case. As such, we provide comprehensive services that address both your criminal charges and DOR hearing to protect your license.
When preparing for both criminal and administrative proceedings, We work closely with you to collect all the facts, conduct investigations, and determine the most viable defense strategy. We challenge breath and blood evidence, the arresting protocol of law enforcement officers, and regularly enlist the assistance of expert witnesses or testimony when necessary. We do everything in our power to secure the positive resolution you need.